Mychael Black, One Of The ‘In’ People At Torquere Tells Us What He Thinks…

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I was sent this link by a source so anonymous, even I don’t know who he/she is.

It’s a post from one of the Torquere authors who apparently belongs in the ‘In Crowd’ over there:

Ya know… If I really wanted to hear all the frickin’ mud-slinging that goes on within this biz (namely on blogs), I’d have gone into politics. For the record: I love my publishers. So for those idiots who have nothing better to do than drag pubs through the mud just for the sake of blog hits, feel free to step out in front of a car.

Have a nice day. 🙂

Apparently, he/she also writes under the name of Kaye Derwydd. No idea who she/he is of course.

I’ll post some of his accompanying comments shall I? (FreePublicityFreePublicityFreePublicity!)

Torquere, Phaze… I’m happy with my pubs, and I honestly don’t understand where the drive to spout shit about pubs comes from. Between private conversations among friends? Bitch all ya want. But in public? These morons need to learn to get their facts straight.

This is a comment from one of Mychael’s cronies:

Some folks got no manners…
and no awareness of how small the biz really is. Names get noted, and remembered.

And Mychael replies with:

Yup. Which is probably why some of these people start the mud-slinging–either they or someone they know was probably rejected/not happy, and poof! The press in question is officially evil.

This next comment is from another of Mychael’s readers, and I thought it was very telling:

not sure where, who, what was said ect – I agree with you tho’ – it’s one thing to express your concerns about a pub in private – but to post in a public forum is just wrong

The above comments epitomizes a lot of what is wrong with the e-publishing industry right now.

What worries me even more is this sentiment from the Anon who sent the link:

Please don’t name this email or the source. These people are psychos. Note the threats of violence. Balanced – not.

Not much else for me to say really apart from….Am I the only person who’s annoyed at the way Mychael Black has chosen to spell his/her name? Sheesh.

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124 responses to this post.

  1. The one thing I find amazing is the level of fear that is assumed an author is supposed to have in regard to a publisher. Granted, some authors do fall for the *rolling eyes* “if you say something I’ll black ball you threat”, but the reality is this is a self-serving business and if an author gets dropped from one house for non legal issues (but sometimes even then) and another house thinks that author can make money for them, they will pick up this author. As much as this is a small business world it is also a HIGHLY competitive one and every dollar counts.

    I know I keep coming back this, (That might be because it’s important) but if an author makes sure they have a solid contract before they sign, it doesn’t really matter, especially in small presses, whether the publisher desires to play favorites, desires to make threats, desires to be generally pissy, there really isn’t anything they can do without paying a hefty consequence. They are bound by the terms of the contract and all the pointless posturing in the world can’t work up any more response in the author than a rather bored yawn.

    Yeah. An author’s contract is really that important, folks. And that powerful because disputes get settled in court, and the law is rather unimpressed with either sides sense of consequence. It merely looks at the words, the remedies and says “We are done.” If the contracts were done right, it’s not even expensive, And if the other side has been ridiculous enough, the cost may even be compensatory. Something to think on for those authors that would like to break the cycle.

    It’s a warning sign when an author gets a warm fuzzy about a publishing house. (Usually happens more in small presses because of the size making for a more “home town” feel.) Not because the people are bad but because the sense of camaraderie may foster a sense of “trust” that may lead the author to being less than vigilant when it comes to contract details. That lack of vigilance can really hurt the author when the bad times come—And in small presses the one certainty is that bad times will come. (usually at the end of a growth cycle when readjustments have to be made) Many presses will survive down turns. Others won’t, but without a solid contract, even those authors at the surviving houses may find themselves unhappy and feeling used by the methods the house took to survive. Or not. The bottom line is there’s no way to predict the future so an author has to prepare for it the same way the house does. By looking ahead and planning in the contract clauses for the eventualities.

    I know the preventative solution to this oft repeated issue is boring and not the least dramatic, but it is both attainable and effective and I think worth looking into. Actually, I would rather see these discussions focus more on a general discussion of the clauses that are tripping the authors up than focusing on the “evilness” of the publisher, because for all the exposure being given these issues, I don’t see many walking away with the knowledge they need not to land in the same hole in the future.

    Reply

  2. Posted by anon y. mouse on March 19, 2008 at 11:48 am

    *snorts* Mychael hasn’t learned her lesson, I see. I say her because it is a woman. She was an editor at the craptastic Lady Aibell/Chippewa and burned a looooot of bridges with her blind loyalty to that company. She was as bad as Rebecca with the indifferent emails and threats of blackballing and “Just be patient even though it’s been a year since we contracted you and haven’t so much as taken the cap off of the red editing pen yet, be patient you ungrateful author you!” Of course the tone changed quite a bit when Rebecca bailed and it was Kay/Mychael’s stories left dangling in the breeze just like the rest of us peons.

    And frankly, she is one of the main reasons I refuse to sub to Torquere. She and her little band of idjits traipsing around acting like they’re sooo much better than everyone else because they have a trillion 3k stories published by TQ. Yeah, go ahead and keep writing your little 3k drabbles for 15 bucks a pop. I’ll be making real money over at real publishers with actual BOOKS, thanks.

    Reply

  3. […] No really, sorry NCP no breaking out into song yet. Damn woman I can’t keep up, or is it torquere wanting to drink on your cold dead […]

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  4. Posted by Dorothy Mantooth on March 19, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    And they wonder why loop emails get forwarded. It’s because when an author tries to speak up they get A) Told that since they’re posting anonymously they can’t be trusted and are obviously lying, and B) That they’re just “disgruntled” because they were rejected or that favorite old tie, “wouldn’t accept edits”.

    Mrs. Giggles did an interesting blog post on this. I wish her posts stayed on the main page longer.

    I’m glad Kaye Derwydd isn’t interested in all the mud-slinging. The rest of us, though, have careers to think about, and view “all this mud-slinging” as important news about which publishers we can best entrust our work to.

    Reply

  5. The only thing I really have to say about this is something I’ve said a hundred times over, I bet.

    Readers can mudsling all they want. The flamefests that can result aren’t going to impact that reader, their rep, their bottom line.

    But if authors or publishers wade into, it certainly can affect their bottom line. As can the implications and insults directed at reader blogs where such discussions take place.

    One thing people don’t seem to get, if there’s that much disgruntlement going on, other writers in the community are entitled to know about it. It educates them. If it saves a couple of authors from being screwed sideways, then these discussions have served their purpose.

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  6. I find it interesting that gay fiction writer Mychael Black purports to be male in a forum visited by millions worldwide:
    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=43255205

    yet here indicates he/she is female (writer, Kay Derwydd): http://veinglory.8.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=2815

    I’ve become accustomed to publishers assuming multi-aliases, but now multi-genders too? The gay crowd must be a little frustrated with the convenience of gender switching going on. Is this writer really talking Gay fiction as written by a gay man? Or gay fiction as in a woman posing as a gay man writing gay fiction? Or is it gay fiction written by a man posing to be a woman posing as a gay man writing gay fiction? And if this latter is true, just how gay a guy is he, if he is not a she?

    Reply

  7. Posted by azteclady on March 19, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Capo, I just got a headache. Thanks, buddy 😡

    Reply

  8. LOL Sorry AL!
    But has the makings of a good tongue twister, don’t you think?

    Reply

  9. Posted by anon y. mouse on March 19, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    FYI, have it on good authority that the “SM” Teddypig mentioned on his blog (Sean Michael) is yet another of “Mychael’s” pen names. It’s just too much coincidence the name Sean Michael, and nearly every MC Mychael and their co-author Shayne writes is some variation of their own names. They seem to write only mary-sue’s of themselves. Either that or they’re just unimaginative.

    Reply

  10. Ok I’ll spell it out!

    It was confirmed to me after I specifically asked someone writing for Torquere Press for a long time was that S.A. Clements, Sean Michael, BA Tortuga and Mike Shade, are all the same owner.

    Reply

  11. And Mychael isn’t any of them, just to be clear.

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  12. Everything else I have heard about them is really not mine to tell but it is part of the reasons I do not in any way recommend them to either readers or writers at all .

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  13. Posted by Kim on March 19, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    I find the current trend of substituting of “y” for “i” amusing as well. From now on, I want to be known as “Kym”. Wow. I feel cooler and more badass already. Maybe I could throw an “h” in there and be part of the Brotherhood. Or is that Bhrotherhood?

    Reply

  14. Posted by Mychael on March 19, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    For the record, I’m not Sean Michael. In fact, I only write as Mychael Black. Oh, and I’m transgendered–hence the name and gender issue. So attack all you wish. I’m done.

    Reply

  15. Posted by anonymous labmouse on March 19, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    “I only write as Mychael Black”

    Ok, either you’re not Mychael Black, or someone lied here,
    http://veinglory.8.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=2815 :

    >>>Here’s the exact template I used for Kay’s:

    Kay is an odd bird. Her tastes in nearly everything are highly eclectic and change regularly depending on her mood. When it comes to writing, however, they tend to remain static. She specializes in writing gay (m/m) erotica, but has also written several m/f pieces. Most of her stories fall into one or more of the following categories: Vampires, Horror, High Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery. She also has written several Slice-of-Life pieces, and a few BDSM/Fetish pieces.

    She lives in Delaware with her partner and their two toddlers. They live roughly ten minutes from the Atlantic Ocean and the beach boardwalk, both of which inspire many stories, especially during the summer when the guys are scantily clad in tight shorts and T-shirts are very rare sights.

    Kay also writes erotic gay fiction under the name [[Mychael Black]].

    —-<<<<<<<<<

    Reply

  16. Posted by Mychael on March 19, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    It was a former pen name. I’ve never kept it a secret. Now, it’s just Mychael.

    Reply

  17. Oh Mychael,l don’t be so sensitive, and whatever you do, try to refrain from pulling the transgender card, ok?

    Kim, in that case, I’ll be Kyaren. Yeah, definitely feeling like the biggest baddass in the room.

    Reply

  18. They are not denying the multiple Pen Names either.

    http://glbtromance.blogspot.com/2008/03/bad-publicity-is-still-puiblicity.html

    We’ve never changed hands. Torquere *did* incorporate a few years ago, but Shawn Clements and Lorna Hinson are still 50/50 on the paperwork and still do at least 75% of the work work 😉

    We publish our own books. Show me an e-publisher who doesn’t, and I will send you the name of the owner and one or more pseudonym that they write under. It’s the nature of the beast.

    Reply

  19. d00d. Seriously. Who gives a flyin’ fuck? Mychael is Michael is Micheal is Mikhail is … dude, this gets old. Who cares how someone spells their name? It’s HIS name let HIM spell it however HE wants to.

    Reply

  20. It was a former pen name. I’ve never kept it a secret. Now, it’s just Mychael.

    Does that mean you lied in your initial post?

    Reply

  21. So they do have a conflict of interest as stated by Mrs Giggles.

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  22. Posted by Mychael on March 19, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    “Does that mean you lied in your initial post?”

    Nope. I do NOT write as Kay anymore. Oh, and thanks. My site stats have gone up today.

    Reply

  23. dude, this gets old.

    Oohh, does that mean somebody else has mentioned it before me? And here I thought I was being original.

    It’s HIS name let HIM spell it however HE wants to.

    Dude, I don’t recall anybody saying that he couldn’t call himself what he likes, I could be wrong though. Point me in the direction of the person who said that he wasn’t allowed to call himself by any name he wishes, and I’ll go and open a can of whupass on them.

    Oh, and thanks. My site stats have gone up today.

    You’re very welcome Mychael. I’m good like that.

    Reply

  24. Posted by Jourdan on March 19, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    “Oh Mychael,l don’t be so sensitive, and whatever you do, try to refrain from pulling the transgender card, ok?”

    What exactly is “pulling the transgender card”? Should he not be truthful about who he is? After all, you people are digging pretty deep for some dirt that’s not there.

    Reply

  25. After all, you people are digging pretty deep for some dirt that’s not there.

    Methinks you’re a tad naive Jourdan. Just because things may be all moonlight and roses for you, doesn’t mean it’s the same way for others.

    I’d never heard of Torquere Press, until I got an e-mail complaining about them. Which means, at least one person is unhappy. So of course I post a list of their complaints to see if anybody else has the same problems, and guess what Pollyanna, apparently, that author wasn’t alone.

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  26. Should he not be truthful about who he is?

    Depends on whether or not one believes that he’s telling the truth doesn’t it Jourdan?

    Reply

  27. Does Depends on whether or not one believes that he’s telling the truth doesn’t it Jourdan? mean you don’t believe Mychael is transgendered?

    I imagine that no matter what publisher you post about will have at least one author who is unhappy with it, from ePublishing through traditional publishing and back again. Rather like shooting fish in a barrel, if that’s your criteria.

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  28. Um, More than one by my count.

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  29. I imagine that no matter what publisher you post about will have at least one author who is unhappy with it, from ePublishing through traditional publishing and back again. Rather like shooting fish in a barrel, if that’s your criteria.

    Cynthia, it wasn’t just one author now was it? If it had been just one author, it wouldn’t have been worth my time even posting this. But the fact is when the same complaint comes up over and over again, you know there’s probably going to be a kernel of truth in there somewhere. You can deny it all you like, but just because you don’t want to acknowledge the train coming towards you, doesn’t mean that it aint there.

    I’ve been told by more than one author that the editing at Torq is a shambles, and that you have to be in the ‘In crowd’ to get anything other than basic assistance. Business shouldn’t be run like high school canteens surely?

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  30. Reading what you just said,

    I’d never heard of Torquere Press, until I got an e-mail complaining about them. Which means, at least one person is unhappy. So of course I post a list of their complaints to see if anybody else has the same problems, and guess what Pollyanna, apparently, that author wasn’t alone.

    led me to believe that you meant you got an email complaining about TP. So then you posted about it, and other people are unhappy and have shared that with you. My point is, I think the same would be true with any publisher — I’d be far more suspicious and shocked by a publisher that everyone loves, all the time. Because when it all looks rosy, chances are it’s not.

    My personal experience is that authors, no matter where they’re published, tend to be less than thrilled with the editing/promotion/attention they receive. No one does everything perfectly all the time, and that’s the way it goes.

    Authors are in business just as much as publishers are. They need to make business decisions based on their own judgement. Each individual will have factors that are of high importance to them. For me, the criteria is simple: do I actually get paid in a timely fashion? Is allying myself with a given publisher in my best interests at that time? Others will have different questions.

    I notice you’ve ignored my question referencing Mychael’s truthfulness re transgender identity. Is there a reason for this?

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  31. Well, let me say…

    My problem with Mychael whats-it’s-bucket is it created the issue by hiding the facts. One site says clearly he is male and the other site says clearly she is female. If you want to be addressed as anything then find some pride and clearly state what that exactly is or get the hell off my lawn.

    Signed a Gay Man, tired of the whiners.

    Reply

  32. I notice you’ve ignored my question referencing Mychael’s truthfulness re transgender identity. Is there a reason for this?

    Call me cynical, but, no. Is that ok?

    Hey, if he wants to prove it to me though, he can go for his life. Although, I doubt I’ll care either way.

    Reply

  33. Posted by Dorythy Myntooth on March 19, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Doesn’t being transgendered mean you identify as one or the other (but not necessarily the one you were born as), not as “both”?

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  34. Kay also writes erotic gay fiction under the name [[Mychael Black]]. <<<

    Sounds like Kay then needs to get that same pride and update her/his/whatever bio to make it clear.

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  35. Posted by anon on March 19, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Actually you’ve got it backwards, Myc. You’re a transgendered woman. A transgendered man would be a man who identifies as a woman. Transgendered woman is a woman who identifies as a man. But then, you really don’t do either, you claim either sex, or both sexes, as it suits you in whatever given moment. Alternative sexuality is one thing, but indecisive fence-sitters who change their position on their own sexuality so often that they cart around a half a dozen fake names to go with all those screwed up personalities, is a whole nother animal. Myc today, Kay tomorrow, Liz the next day and so on and so on. Aren’t you a little old to still be “finding out who I am”?

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  36. Most real life trans gender I have known don’t care what you call them since they care more about how you treat them as a person.

    When I see people playing silly gender games like this over the whole he/she deal when they themselves created the issue I get upset.

    It’s the internet damn it and no one is a frigging mind reader nor does anyoe really give a shit.

    Reply

  37. Posted by Mychael on March 19, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Dorythy: Omnigendered means both–or none. However one wishes to interpret it.

    Teddy: Have you not seen the posts that I do NOT write as Kay anymore? I can’t begin to find all the places where that name might be listed. Furthermore, the people who know me–KNOW I no longer write under that name.

    Reply

  38. Mychael it is YOUR responsibility or YOU have no right to complain about this or imply Karen was wrong.

    You made the mess and it is YOUR responsibility to fix it.
    Those were YOUR actions and YOU have to correct them YOURSELF.

    Reply

  39. Posted by Mychael on March 19, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    I know who I am. I’m proud of who I am. I’m done. Goodbye, folks.

    Reply

  40. Posted by anon on March 19, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Bye bye!

    Reply

  41. OH Karen look what I did!

    So Vanity Press… let’s see kids…
    Amazon.com shows 99 books in print published by Torquere Press

    S.A. Clements has 3
    Mike Shade has 1
    Sean Micheal has 31
    B.A. Tortuga has 14
    Rough count that makes a total of 49 books out of 99 by Shawn Clements

    After that Chris Owen has 11
    Hmmmmmm…

    Reply

  42. Who did we decide Sean Michael was again?

    Reply

  43. Shawn Clements

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  44. Hey, this is all out there just use advanced book search on Amazon.com

    The other stuff I was told by people writing for Torquere Press.

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  45. Posted by Jourdan on March 19, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Nope. I’m not naive. There is no dirt to dig up with Mychael. He is — and always has been open — about who he is and what he thinks. Calling someone out about what their sexuality may or may not be is never admirable and it’s surprising that that even has to be pointed out. Mychael’s personal life really isn’t anyone’s business but his own.

    I never meant that there wasn’t complaints from people at Torquere. No, I’ve never had any problems with them. They’ve always been more than helpful, paid on time, and are friendly as well as professional.

    I believe that if the people with the “issues” would have brought it to the attention to the owners of the company (who are always available and DO respond to emails), that it could have brought their issues out in the open. How are they to be fixed if the ones able to do something about have no clue that people aren’t happy?

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  46. I don’t know about all those others but one of my all time fave writers, A.M. Riley, publishes with them. She’s the business.

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  47. Posted by Dorothy Mantooth on March 19, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Just to clarify, in case I offended you, Teddypig (because I’m not sure if it was me or Mychael who did), I was really asking, not poking fun. There is in my family a woman-who-used-to-be-a-man; she identifies herself exclusively as female. I wondered if perhaps that was unusual.

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  48. Posted by azteclady on March 19, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I dunno… No, really, I know nothing.

    However.

    Just because a number of authors do get all their emails answered immediately or sooner, and because those same authors get all the editorial help they want or need, etc. doesn’t necessarily mean that all authors are treated well, fairly, or eve professionally.

    And once the authors complaining are more than a minute percentage of the total actual live people (as opposed to multiple pen names for a handful of individuals), then I’d say there’s plenty of fire under that smoke.

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  49. Dorothy,

    I call guys “she” or “her” all the time some of them act like Drag Queens and some are the butchest rednecks you ever met.

    It’s not because I question that persons gender it is simply part of Gay Male vernacular.

    People who take pride in who they are including myself don’t normally run around tripping off gender identity or implying people are phobic which indicates to me that is a personal issue.

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  50. How are they to be fixed if the ones able to do something about have no clue that people aren’t happy?

    Fixing? Or covering it up like the pen names?

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  51. Calling someone out about what their sexuality may or may not be is never admirable and it’s surprising that that even has to be pointed out.

    I think you’ll find that it was Mychael himself who brought up the fact that he was a transgendered man. That’s not something I was aware of until he told me this. And to be frank, I couldn’t give a flying fuck.

    That’s as close as I’m going to get to letting anybody play that card. His sexuality wasn’t the point of the post, his comments were. And any reference to his sexuality, was made by himself in the first place.

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  52. Posted by Melynda on March 20, 2008 at 12:13 am

    What’s wrong with “y”s in names? 🙂

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  53. Posted by anonymous labmouse on March 20, 2008 at 12:17 am

    I say, if you’re a straight man be proud. If you’re a gay man be proud. If you’re a gay woman be proud. But wishy-washy, that doesn’t cut it.

    So, Mychael, Myk, Michelle; excuse some of us if we are still wondering if you stand when you take a leak or not. Because when it boils down to it the honesty about your gender says a lot about your integrity as a pub.

    Reply

  54. Posted by Lleeo on March 20, 2008 at 12:20 am

    I feel compelled to drop a comment on this discussion because I really love reading Karen’s blog; she’s always honest, she calls people in the romance industry on their bullshit (often to betterment of new romance authors), she’s witty as hell and she usually only make fun of people who were acting like jerks in the first place. But I did see some comments that seemed to be personal attacks on Mychael’s gendered identity that were unfair and uncalled for and I wanted to point them out as I see them because it really bothers me seeing this kind of intolerance on your blog.

    Karen, I really agree with your initial post and think that it is an important issue that SHOULD be discussed publicly by authors in the industry. It’s a power relationship and Mychael Black seems to have forgotten that it is the authors who have less power. For example, if a publisher doesn’t think an author is producing good business with them or behaving unprofessionally, they can drop them. The only way a publisher can be hurt by an author is if an author discourages other authors and readers from having anything to do with that business. And you’d have to get quite a few authors who are REALLY bent out of shape about a certain publishing company to get other authors and readers to believe they are a bad deal. Like you point out, it’s not as convincing if it’s just one or two authors who have had bad experiences and every other author is fine with them.

    But when there are MANY authors who have a problem with a publishing company then obviously the publisher has been doing SOMETHING to piss off a whole bunch of people. And what’s important about making this kind of information public and NOT private is that SOMETHING will be done about it. How is it fair to a group of authors who are caught in a bad contract, aren’t being paid and might not see another pay cheque until they get out of the contract to not talk about it? The publisher has the power to keep shafting them until they go to the trouble (i.e. lots of time and lots of money) to get a lawyer. Talking about this kind of corrupt underhanded business-dealing PUBLICLY gives some power to the authors to actually get out of their contracts (or even be treated better) because enough public support for the authors can lead to boycotting. Which is a good thing if a particular publishing company is acting, as Karen likes to say, like an “asshat.”

    I also agree with you and Teddy Pig about publishing companies publishing the same author under numerous psuedonyms and giving them the spotlight and sales while giving less attention to other authors. I was a little confused about this at first but I think the argument is that as a publishing company, you can do whatever you want and this kind of practice isn’t illegal and even though it’s clearly unfair, if you’re honest about playing favourites to the detriment of other authors, at least new signing authors know up-front what they’re signing into. If you don’t TELL new authors that you play favourites with a handful of authors and try to hide the fact that you do by giving these authors (or the favourite authors themselves taking on) multiple names, this is not only unfair, it’s also dirty and deceitful. AND YOU ARE BEING A JERK IF YOU DO IT. Karen and Teddy suspecting Mychael of being deceitful and unfair for possibly having multiple psuedonyms is not making a personal attack against him. It’s calling him out for possibly being a jerk.

    Okay. Now onto the real personal attacks against Mychael, as I see them:

    I’ve become accustomed to publishers assuming multi-aliases, but now multi-genders too? The gay crowd must be a little frustrated with the convenience of gender switching going on. Is this writer really talking Gay fiction as written by a gay man? Or gay fiction as in a woman posing as a gay man writing gay fiction? Or is it gay fiction written by a man posing to be a woman posing as a gay man writing gay fiction? And if this latter is true, just how gay a guy is he, if he is not a she? -Capo

    Capo, I think this comment was REALLY uncalled for. Yeah, maybe Mychael has a huge hidden stash of psuedonyms and is being a deceitful jerk for lying about this fact. But really? Who gives a damn what his gender is or whether he’s changed it multiple times? And what is this “convenience of gender switching” that the gay crowd (specifically) must be getting really frustrated about? I personally don’t know very much about trans individuals but this seems to be a personal attack against them. What’s wrong with changing your gender? Or not having a static gender? I can see where people like Teddy Pig might get frustrated if they don’t know what pronoun to use but as long as the trans individual lets you know what pronoun of lack thereof that they prefer, what’s the big deal? You seem to be implying that Mychael is being deceitful but in what way? He once referred to himself as Kay and referred to himself as a woman and now he refers to himself as Mychael and wants to be referred to as a man. If anything, Mychael is very honest and upfront about his gendered identity and how he wants to be seen and referred as.

    My problem with Mychael whats-it’s-bucket is it created the issue by hiding the facts. One site says clearly he is male and the other site says clearly she is female. If you want to be addressed as anything then find some pride and clearly state what that exactly is or get the hell off my lawn. -Teddy Pig

    Again, I can understand feeling frustrated with not knowing how to refer to Mychael if he seems to be saying two different things and contradicting himself but I don’t see why you should have a huge problem with him on this front if he has recently come out to you directly and TOLD you what he wants to be referred to as now. He also explicitly TOLD you that he went to all his official sites and changed the inconsistency. What more do you want? Maybe your frustration is connected with your suspicion that his changing genders and names are just part of his scheme to steal the spotlight and sales from other hardworking authors without telling them; i.e. being a deceitful jerk. I just don’t understand your level of vehemence against him for changing his gendered identity on the Internet and it seems like a personal bias to me.

    Actually you’ve got it backwards, Myc. You’re a transgendered woman. A transgendered man would be a man who identifies as a woman. Transgendered woman is a woman who identifies as a man. But then, you really don’t do either, you claim either sex, or both sexes, as it suits you in whatever given moment. Alternative sexuality is one thing, but indecisive fence-sitters who change their position on their own sexuality so often that they cart around a half a dozen fake names to go with all those screwed up personalities, is a whole nother animal. Myc today, Kay tomorrow, Liz the next day and so on and so on. Aren’t you a little old to still be “finding out who I am”? -anon

    This comment seems so blatantly discriminatory that it’s disgusting. Are you really such an expert on gender identities, anon? It seems to me like there are a lot of individuals in the world (including transgender people) who think of themselves as more than one gender. And I ask you: What. The. Hell. Is. Wrong. With. That?! If that’s who they want to be then that’s who they want to be and it’s unfair of us to sit back and judge them for being who they want to be and being proud enough to admit that they don’t ascribe to one gender when it isn’t popular or even dangerous to do so. Indecisive fence-sitters who change their position on their own sexuality so often that they cart around a half a dozen fake names to go with all those screwed up personalities. Seriously? If this is the kind of intolerance that some trans individuals have to deal with on a regular basis, I don’t blame Mychael for getting angry and accusing some of the commenters here of levelling personal attacks against him.

    Reply

  55. Posted by Lleeo on March 20, 2008 at 12:29 am

    I forgot to add: Karen, I think it was unfair of you to accuse Mychael of pulling the trans card when he was simply trying to explain why his psuedonym changed names and genders. It just seemed to me like he realized that you suspected him of being deceitful and underhanded in the publishing business because of his suspected multiple psuedonyms and he was trying to give a legitimate reason why his name and gender changed.

    I don’t think it’s common enough for authors who have multiple psuedonyms to also have multiple genders, so I think he was legitimately trying to explain that and defend himself, rather than win extra politically correct brownie points for his argument.

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  56. Again, I can understand feeling frustrated with not knowing how to refer to Mychael if he seems to be saying two different things and contradicting himself but I don’t see why you should have a huge problem with him on this front if he has recently come out to you directly and TOLD you what he wants to be referred to as now. He also explicitly TOLD you that he went to all his official sites and changed the inconsistency. What more do you want? Maybe your frustration is connected with your suspicion that his changing genders and names are just part of his scheme to steal the spotlight and sales from other hardworking authors without telling them; i.e. being a deceitful jerk. I just don’t understand your level of vehemence against him for changing his gendered identity on the Internet and it seems like a personal bias to me.

    My problem was clearly in Mychael’s over reaction and implication that Karen was at fault since the confusion was clearly promoted in a single sentence on Emily Veinglory’s site.

    Kay also writes erotic gay fiction under the name [[Mychael Black]].

    When you promote this confusion then you have no recourse when it is questioned but to stop and explain clearly and not get upset and assume everyone will read every precious blog post where you evolved whatever you are doing now.

    Even in a Gay bar where this is common place it is not considered polite to take offense at people interacting with you but not understanding your personal gender identity.

    I repeat, that nasty reaction is showing me a personal issue that you need to address professionally and not go rant and rave that so and so hates you or are phobic towards you.

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  57. The accusation of Mychael pulling the “trans card” arose from the fact the actual content of the post created by Mychael was not being addressed.

    Reply

  58. Posted by Lleeo on March 20, 2008 at 12:41 am

    I say, if you’re a straight man be proud. If you’re a gay man be proud. If you’re a gay woman be proud. But wishy-washy, that doesn’t cut it.

    So, Mychael, Myk, Michelle; excuse some of us if we are still wondering if you stand when you take a leak or not. Because when it boils down to it the honesty about your gender says a lot about your integrity as a pub.

    You know what they call this in gender studies? Binary thinking. We’re so used to seeing everything as mind/body, passion/reason, male/female, gay/lesbian, day/night, hot/cold that when someone boldly comes along and tells you that, “Hey, I’m a little bit of both,” or “I used to be cold but now I’m hot and that’s how I want you to see me and refer to me,” our brain explodes and we get angry and defensive because this kind of person doesn’t fit into our concept of the world and we don’t want to have to deal with and accept their differentness.

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  59. People looking at me do not know I am a Gay man.
    For people to know that I am a gay man I must first in some way inform them of this.

    For me to get angry and defensive because they did not correctly guess my identify is mildly insane but also counter productive to me as a person.

    If I identified myself as straight in some post on a well known site on the internet I should not be in the least shocked at this causing even further issues because that is common sense.

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  60. Aww, he either took down that Livejournal entry (got something to hide, dear?) or the link doesn’t work in the first place.

    Regarding the “Y”, it seems like a trendy thing for those who fancy themselves cool enough to be at the fringe of society to do. Remember Kynt and Vyxsin from the recent US version of The Amazing Race?

    About Mychael Black’s sexual identity – I don’t think anyone can be blamed for wondering whether he is a man or woman because on his website, he gives this impression that he is a man in his “About Mye” page. It is only on his Livejournal that he screeches defensively that we can take it or leave it that he’s actually a transgendered person. Since not everyone visits an author’s journal or blog, he shouldn’t take offense so easily when someone wonders whether Mychael Black is male or female.

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  61. Posted by Lleeo on March 20, 2008 at 12:57 am

    My problem was clearly in Mychael’s over reaction and implication that Karen was at fault since the confusion was clearly promoted in a single sentence on Emily Veinglory’s site …I repeat, that nasty reaction is showing me a personal issue that you need to address professionally and not go rant and rave that so and so hates you or are phobic towards you.

    Okay, I get what you’re saying. From what I saw when I looked at his Livejournal, he really does seem to consider this post to be a personal attack against him and his gender identity when it is clear to anyone who reads it that it is not. But I do understand his frustration because from a lot of comments (that I admit, he prompted by revealing his trans identity) posted in response, people seem to be really intolerant of different trans identities and uncomfortable with the idea of changing genders and transitional genders. I’m not really informed on the subject but I think this kind of intolerance is something that needs to be addressed in our society and it’s important for people like Mychael to try to inform those who honestly care and want to know.

    Even in a Gay bar where this is common place it is not considered polite to take offense at people interacting with you but not understanding your personal gender identity.

    I think this is really great because like you point out, being open and tolerant is required from both parties when there’s confusion and lack of knowledge. And I do agree that Mychael shouldn’t be jumping down everyone’s throat who innocently expresses something ignorant–probably a lot of people aren’t trying to be disrespectful.

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  62. Posted by Lleeo on March 20, 2008 at 1:07 am

    People looking at me do not know I am a Gay man.
    For people to know that I am a gay man I must first in some way inform them of this.

    For me to get angry and defensive because they did not correctly guess my identify is mildly insane but also counter productive to me as a person.

    Very well put, Teddy. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    If I identified myself as straight in some post on a well known site on the internet I should not be in the least shocked at this causing even further issues because that is common sense.

    But I don’t see this as an appropriate comparison. Mychael Black pointed out that he identifies as both genders (sometimes? all the time? yeah, I’m a little confused about that). The point being that he WANTED to be known as a woman in the past (therefore, his Kay psuedonym) and now he wants to be known as a man (therefore, his Mychael persona). The difference being that once you’ve identified yourself as a gay man it wouldn’t make sense for you to want to be identified as a straight man later on. Because this would lead to questions about whether you were ashamed of being gay and went back into the closet or liked to play mind games with people. But…maybe Mychael will one day want to be referred to as a woman again…? Am I grasping at straws here? Feel free to point out glaring holes in my argument, I’m just trying to piece this together.

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  63. Posted by Lleeo on March 20, 2008 at 1:12 am

    The accusation of Mychael pulling the “trans card” arose from the fact the actual content of the post created by Mychael was not being addressed.

    Fair enough. But don’t you think he could have been legitimately trying to address the ‘deceit and underhanded’ business-dealing accusations by pointing out that he’s trans instead of just trying to rile everyone up?

    I guess that’s a subjective argument but I see where you and Karen are coming from.

    Reply

  64. Well maybe I could go Bi… NAH! I’m too old.

    No, my point is clear communication of identity depends not only on taking a personal responsibility but also like in most communication it depends on consistency.

    When you constantly change something then tolerance becomes more and more dependent on your actions and your attitude towards proactively deferring conflict.

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  65. I have three levels of issues here – with the publisher, with this author’s statement, and then the author.

    I’m not a Torquere author, and never would be because I intensely dislike the public behaviour of its authors. As a customer and a reader, I am offended by the appallingly low standards of presentation and editing (authors there routinely only get a single pass over a manuscript – that’s simply not enough, unless you’re TP or NCP). I am angry at the multiple pseudonyms in the same genre which are used purely to obscure the fact they are all the same person (and the reported list of pseuds is not complete, trust me.) I am also angry on behalf of friends and readers who write for TP who have been mistreated.

    Torquere treat their customers and authors outside the inner circle like crap. In this, they are identical to New Concepts Press, or at least as NCP is being reported recently (never had any dealings with them so am relying on what I read, which may be unwise.) My opinion on Torquere, however, is based on direct experience and knowledge.

    Mychael Black’s now deleted post is offensive because it’s vicious, violent and threatening to those who dare to offer a word of criticism. Jourdan Lane complains that Torquere can’t do anything if they don’t know about it – well, if one of their favoured authors responds like this to non-personal criticsm (and then tries to pretend, yet again, it was the result of being drugged up) is it any wonder if authors don’t speak up? They don’t care about complaints. They don’t care how many people bitch about the low editing standards. They are solely concerned with making sure no one breaks ranks and being supportive to those in the inner sanctum. It’s a private club. Only it has a public face and it’s pretty ugly right now.

    Mychael Black himself would have less difficulty over his transgendered identity if (a) that identity hadn’t first been widely touted as simply a pen name for Kay Derwydd (I have transmen among my readers and their reaction was pretty much identical to Teddy’s, so don’t throw the discrimination thing at me) and (b) he wasn’t surrounded by so many multiple pseudonymous authors, and people concocting fake male identities to give credibility to their gay romances. Mychael/Kay’s dual persona was live and kicking even a couple of months ago, so you’ll have to pardon some scepticism/confusion now.

    The substantive issue is the use of multiple pseuds with the sole intention to deceive the readership by other Torquere authors. If MB isn’t among that company, fine. I still think his post and the responses were horrifying, and that Torquere treats its customers and some of its authors with contempt. No amount of outrage over personal attacks is going to change my opinion on that.

    Reply

  66. Posted by Lleeo on March 20, 2008 at 1:17 am

    About Mychael Black’s sexual identity – I don’t think anyone can be blamed for wondering whether he is a man or woman because on his website, he gives this impression that he is a man in his “About Mye” page. It is only on his Livejournal that he screeches defensively that we can take it or leave it that he’s actually a transgendered person. Since not everyone visits an author’s journal or blog, he shouldn’t take offense so easily when someone wonders whether Mychael Black is male or female. -Mrs. Giggles

    Okay, Karen, I swear I’ll stop taking over your blog now! ;D But I just wanted to say that I agree with you completely, Mrs. Giggles. I was curious too and there’s nothing wrong or offensive about this kind of curiosity. I just really took offense (and understood why Mychael would too) to some of the intolerant, discriminatory comments made about trans people by subsequent commenters. =/

    Reply

  67. Posted by Lleeo on March 20, 2008 at 2:04 am

    Okay–one more comment! ^_~

    The substantive issue is the use of multiple pseuds with the sole intention to deceive the readership by other Torquere authors. If MB isn’t among that company, fine. I still think his post and the responses were horrifying, and that Torquere treats its customers and some of its authors with contempt. No amount of outrage over personal attacks is going to change my opinion on that.

    Yeah, I noticed that Mychael didn’t even attempt to address this issue which is very telling, isn’t it?

    Mychael Black himself would have less difficulty over his transgendered identity if (a) that identity hadn’t first been widely touted as simply a pen name for Kay Derwydd (I have transmen among my readers and their reaction was pretty much identical to Teddy’s, so don’t throw the discrimination thing at me)…

    I didn’t mean to blindly accuse anyone who commented with confusion over his gender of discrimination. Sorry if it seemed that way. I just felt compelled to point out that there are so many shades of grey that are being exposed in gender studies and I think it’s wonderful that we’re slowly breaking out of the feminine/masculine binary framework and opening ourselves up to multiple gender identities. It is new and it is confusing but I also think it’s wonderful and when people barge in with angry comments about ‘wishy-washy fence sitters’ this screams prejudice and intolerance to me. I think we’ll be a better society when we can someday raise our children with the understanding that they can be who they are and not have to try to force themselves into narrow gender categories. And it’s never too late to question who you are and how you fit into the scheme of things.

    and (b) he wasn’t surrounded by so many multiple pseudonymous authors, and people concocting fake male identities to give credibility to their gay romances. Mychael/Kay’s dual persona was live and kicking even a couple of months ago, so you’ll have to pardon some scepticism/confusion now.

    Wow, I didn’t realize female authors who write M/M did this. That strikes me as really sad that they feel they have to do this. Is it because gay readers who like M/M romance won’t accept this kind of romance from a woman? Is Teddy Pig the only one? (only half-joking, Teddy, I’m just honestly curious ^_~). And I definitely don’t blame anyone’s genuine scepticism/confusion because I know exactly where it’s coming from and I’m still confused/skeptical. ^_^

    Well maybe I could go Bi… NAH! I’m too old.

    No, my point is clear communication of identity depends not only on taking a personal responsibility but also like in most communication it depends on consistency.

    When you constantly change something then tolerance becomes more and more dependent on your actions and your attitude towards proactively deferring conflict. -Teddy Pig

    Lol! That’s a great point and very eloquently put.

    Reply

  68. Wow, I didn’t realize female authors who write M/M did this. That strikes me as really sad that they feel they have to do this. Is it because gay readers who like M/M romance won’t accept this kind of romance from a woman? Is Teddy Pig the only one? (only half-joking, Teddy, I’m just honestly curious ^_~). And I definitely don’t blame anyone’s genuine scepticism/confusion because I know exactly where it’s coming from and I’m still confused/skeptical. ^_^

    Yeah, it is amazing when I see Romantic Times refusing to do reviews of Gay Romance but I know that most of the players involved are actually straight women.

    I mean I have to stop and ask myself is it really Homophobic if only the characters in the story are homosexual men? Every real person involved is straight and female no less.

    Some of them carry the whole masquerade around the male Pen Name to the extreme online.

    Then I go have another beer and read my next eBook and figure questions like that are simply beyond a pigs understanding and it will just make me nuts.

    Reply

  69. Posted by anon on March 20, 2008 at 2:35 am

    “when people barge in with angry comments about ‘wishy-washy fence sitters’ this screams prejudice and intolerance to me.”

    Okie dokie, here’s the thing. I am not prejudiced or intolerant of transgendered people. Not at all. I *am*, however, intolerant of people I believe to be full of crap. Mychael Black falls under that listing. Do I believe he/she is transgendered? No. I believe Mychael Black was concocted to, as mentioned above, lend credibility to the m/m writing, and when Kay had burned a crapload of bridges as Kay, decided to suddenly identify only as Mychael and used transgender as the excuse for it. I cannot be the only person to notice that it was when Lady Aibell went under in a flood of crap hip-high that Mychael decided he didn’t want to be ‘identified’ as a woman or Kay anymore. I mean really, you think that’s coincidence? Not even close.

    So no, I have no issue with someone being transgendered, I have no issue with any sexual orientation or lifestyle. I do have issue with people using what to other people is a serious, life-altering, traumatic thing as a smokescreen to try and get away from the shitstorm they created under another name.

    That’s all.

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  70. I mean I have to stop and ask myself is it really Homophobic if only the characters in the story are homosexual men?

    Well yes, because it’s the content that’s being objected to, not the gender/sexuality.

    RT can’t handle butt sex, plain and simple (or men loving men, or at least, reasonable facsimiles of men loving reasonable facsimiles of men.) Amazingly how many straight women among their readership apparently can, though.

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  71. Oops – that was supposed to look like:

    I mean I have to stop and ask myself is it really Homophobic if only the characters in the story are homosexual men?

    Well yes, because it’s the content that’s being objected to, not the gender/sexuality.

    RT can’t handle butt sex, plain and simple (or men loving men, or at least, reasonable facsimiles of men loving reasonable facsimiles of men.) Amazingly how many straight women among their readership apparently can, though.

    [I code HTML real good, honest]

    Reply

  72. Torquere Press just kicked the authors Naomi and Angelia Sparrow for commenting on my blog about the owners abuse of Pen Names.

    http://valarltd.livejournal.com/

    Angelia you seem to be a nice person and I am sorry you got hurt.

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  73. How dare any authors continue to support Torquere Press.

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  74. Posted by anon on March 20, 2008 at 4:08 am

    Sounds like Mychael’s been attacking innocent people. And who was it in here a minute ago asking for tolerance? Pot, meet kettle. You’re both black.

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  75. Teddy, it’s Naomi Brooks and Angelia Sparrow but I agree with your sentiment. I do love a company that sets its bulldogs on other employees to savage them, while pretending they’re so approachable and helpful:
    http://glbtromance.blogspot.com/2008/03/bad-publicity-is-still-puiblicity.html

    “If an author is unhappy with us, I wish they would come to us with their complaint, because we can’t address it if they don’t.”

    And by ‘address’ it, they mean ‘sack you’.

    Poor Mychael Black, by the way. Karen made him cry. Fortunately, she didn’t push him under a bus while she did it. Guess it’s hard being the attack mutt.

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  76. Mychael, I’m genuinely befuddled. Your MySpace profile says this:

    “I’m omnigendered, which means I consider myself both sexes, and neither one. I’m physically female, but my mind is male (gay male, if you want to get technical about it).”

    Now, I once knew a pre-operative trans (a female desperately wanting to become a male), but this individual, who in every way had a man’s psycho-emotional makeup, was attracted to women. I’ve never heard of a biological female seeking the “change” in order to become a gay man. Except myself, of course. (Just kidding, people!)

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  77. Just wanted to make it clear that the story I related is true and my curiosity about this is genuine. I was only kidding about my own desire for gender reassignment. Truth be told, I’m merely a garden-variety fag hag. 🙂

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  78. I’ve never heard of a biological female seeking the “change” in order to become a gay man

    Being transgender is entirely independent of sexuality. It’s about a mismatch between physical attributes and mental perception – being male or female in the opposite body. If a transman fancied men before transitioning, he would be technically heterosexual before, ‘gay’ afterwards. If he fancied women, he’d be considered heterosexual afterwards. But the actual sexuality isn’t altered, just the labelling.

    MB’s statement “I’m physically female, but my mind is male (gay male, if you want to get technical about it)’ is a conventional description of being transgender. I’ve done a fair bit of reading on this subject and never personally come across this concept of ‘omnigendered’ so I don’t know how widely understood or used it is.

    As I said above, MB has contributed to people’s confusion on this score, which doesn’t help understanding.

    Reply

  79. Thanks, Ann. Yeah, I’m well aware of the fundamental issues underlying gender reassignment. (The friend I mentioned was truly living in hell, so I, too, looked into it.) I’d just never heard of any real life instances of “hetero before, gay afterward”.

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  80. Teddy Pig said: “Every real person involved is straight and female no less.”

    I am a female, and real person involved with writing m/m and f/f fiction. I am also lesbian and have always been lesbian, even when I was in a straight marriage trying to live the lie imposed on me by some once strongly and now not so strongly held religious beliefs on homosexuality.

    I don’t think it is fair to say that every person involved is straight and female, although I agree that a large percentage are.

    I am a Torquere Press author (new comer) and I have no problem when people want to raise questions about a publisher, even one that I like and have had no problems with. I think if there are concerns they need to be raised and they need to be answered.

    The only problem I have with any of this is how it appears to be degenerating into a slam fest against one or two people, but I’m not here to fight their battles for them.

    Just wanted to let people know that I don’t fit the “Straight and female” tag.

    Meg

    Reply

  81. Sorry I forgot to change that to “most of the players involved” which I did at the beginning..

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  82. I’ve never heard of a biological female seeking the “change” in order to become a gay man. Except myself, of course.

    Nah, you are not the only one. Sometimes I understand it a little and sometimes I just don’t get it.

    When I first heard about this it was a huh?!? Why do you want to take on all that prejudice I have had to live through? I guess I react socially. But also sexually I mean Gay guys like other Gay guys who have working dangling parts and all, the bigger the better in fact. So it does not seem to be advisable for easy sex.

    I have seen tons of Lesbians changing into Straight men surgically.
    In fact there was a big hoopla about it with some Lesbians going off that they were betraying feminism ideals and the Lesbian community etc etc etc.
    But that has been going on for a while now.

    My reaction is more gutter I guess when it comes to women wanting to be Gay men…

    Why not just find a open minded Straight guy that likes women wearing men’s clothes and the occasional fun of an ass pounding with a strap-on? I don’t know, just seems easier to me but I have met tons of perverts in my life.

    As far as any guys I met seriously taking steps to become Lesbians… none so far but I will keep you updated.

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  83. Teddypig said: “Sorry I forgot to change that to “most of the players involved” which I did at the beginning..”

    No worries. I’m sure all of us have done similar from time to time.

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  84. Nah I would stay well away from Torquere Press at this time it seems the asshole Mychael Black started slamming on Angelia Sparrow which is those posts that were deleted then the asshole owners joined in.

    Personally that whole company has shown just what a wonderful supportive “family” they really really are.

    I have no use for anyone hanging with that crew.

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  85. I think we’ll be a better society when we can someday raise our children with the understanding that they can be who they are and not have to try to force themselves into narrow gender categories.

    But Lleo, this is the kind of liberal BS that riles me no end. Narrow gender categories? What? We have to be politically correct about gender categories now? So expecting people to be either male or female (herms don’t count) makes us intolerant?

    If you’re a man, who wants to be a woman, and you have the op done, then be a woman. If you’re a woman who wants to be a man, then be a man, or else what was the point of having the op in the first place? You may as well have stayed in your current gender and just cross-dressed to suit your mood. Less expensive at least.

    And you see, this is how conversations get derailed. My post had nothing whatsoever to do with his sexuality, not one thing. He dodged the whole issue, and went into an area that I couldn’t give a flying monkeys about.

    Where was his defence re the accusations that have been levelled at Torquere?

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  86. The only problem I have with any of this is how it appears to be degenerating into a slam fest against one or two people,

    Slamfests tend to happen when people do their best to derail a conversation, without even attempting to address the issue at hand. MB himself derailed the conversation by mentioning he was transgendered. What the hell has that got to do with anything?

    If he wanted to explain himself, he could have simply said, I used to write as Kay Whatever, now I write as Mychael Black. Simple no? Pseudonyms in e-publishing aren’t exactly unheard of.

    I hate that anybody would feel that they were being attacked because of their race/gender/sexuality etc etc, I really do, but had he not played the trans card, (and yes he did, as he has done previously) then this would have been a non-issue.

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  87. Posted by Lleeo on March 20, 2008 at 11:46 am

    But Lleo, this is the kind of liberal BS that riles me no end. Narrow gender categories? What? We have to be politically correct about gender categories now? So expecting people to be either male or female (herms don’t count) makes us intolerant?

    Gotta admit, I’m a fan of this particular liberal idea. I know that there’s a lot of politically correct liberal BS out there which hinges on ridiculous concepts and is useful to no one. But….what if our society is moving towards a broadening definition of gender and sex (as in biological sex)? I mean, I know there’s only two biological sexes but there’s transsexual individuals who change their sex, or change certain parts of it, or transgendered individuals who dress and play the role of another gender, there are people who are so completely androgynous they defy categorization into either category. I really didn’t mean to attack anyone for expecting people to be either male or female because seemingly we do have only two possible biological sexes (plus herms, like you said). But I have felt recently from reading a lot of gender and feminist scholarship (yeah, I’m the kid in the history class who wants to do my book review on Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards instead of Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment) that it doesn’t always have to be either male or female. It can be a combination of characteristics that make up someone’s unique gender. I know that would get incredly confusing if everyone had their own “unique gender.” But I’m talking more about eliminating the Girl and Boy sections of the toy store and not only making things gender neutral but taking dolls (I know, stereotypical example) and making them androgynous or butch or boyish etc.

    I realize that making up combinations of gender categories involves just applying opposite gender qualities and sterotypes to the other gender but I don’t think we should encourage everyone to choose an ultra masculine or ultra feminine gender to identify as or aspire to because there should be other options. What about people who are combinations and variations of these two? I know it would be confusing to come up with a whole slew of new pronouns but I’m just wondering why it always has to be just male or female? Maybe I’m being ridiculous but I’m honestly not trying to be politically correct. I just don’t think it’s fair to attack someone because they haven’t defined themself under one gender which is what I saw some commenters doing. Mychael Black’s motives for switching around his gender so often aside, I just saw what I bascially perceived some people saying as, “You better pick a side or you fail as a human being and you’re a deceitful liar!” This just seems like such a narrow-minded, intolerant attitude to me. Kind of like gays and lesbians levelling attacks against bisexuals.

    Like Teddy so eloquently put it, as long as someone is takes on the responsibility of communicating their identity to other people and how they want to be referred to and are consistent with this kind of communication, people will be fine with it usually. But I do get that if someone’s constantly changing their ‘story,’ it gets frustrating and how can you form a consistent picture of someone if they’re a chameleon? But to answer your question, I don’t think people are intolerant if they want to know the gender of someone because that’s honestly how our society is set up right now. Oh, no, here I go again with my liberal stuff again. OUR SOCIETY IS BUILT UPON THE FOUNDATION OF A PATRIARCHAL, HIERARCHICAL BINARY! WAKE UP TO THE LIIIIIIIES!! I just wanted to point out that we tend to get really bothered when we’re interacting with someone and we can’t determine their gender. I’m just saying that isn’t this kind of sad? Can’t we someday just be like, “Well, I find you attractive. Let’s get to know each other better and then maybe later on we can have wild monkey sex. And before we get to the wild monkey sex part, I need to establish that you have a working penis that is not combined with large breasts.”

    Lol. I wasn’t trying to mock you, I was just trying to explain my stance on the subject as best I could. I try to come with some original thoughts of my own and not get brainwashed by those pesky gender and feminist scholars always putting ideas in my head. The whole multiple gender thing actually makes my brain hurt probably just as much as the next person trying to envision it. But it doesn’t mean I can’t try because to me, it’s a nice idea. 🙂

    Whoo! Now I would just like to add that I really admire the fact that you are blogging about the corrupt business practices of NCP because they can’t be allowed to get away with treating their authors lower than dirt caked to the bottom of their shoes. And it’s pathetic that Mychael Black doesn’t seem to give a crap about them either. He’s only out for number one, apparently. And apparently (in his own little delusional world) anyone who doesn’t follow his line of thinking is automatically a bigot.

    I honestly wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt when he mentioned his trans identity right off the bat. I thought he was trying to clarify things in terms of his change in psuedonym but it seems glaringly apparent to me that he never intended to address the actual post you made. I apologize for calling you unfair for calling him on the derailing thing. He derailed like a madman which makes him even more pathetic in my mind.

    I promise not to make a million more comments about gender identity. ^_~ I think I got out what I needed to say. I missed some interesting comments, though, so I’ll probably be back later. Thanks for letting people like me ramble all over your blog, Karen. ;D I honestly think it’s great that you can garner so much discourse from your posts. Rock on!

    Reply

  88. A few things, purely in the interest of fairness.

    1) Myc is trans and has represented as such for as long I can remember.
    1a) I am not, and the “Big Bad Corellian Boyrfriend (TM)” comment is a semi-joking reference to the rather odd relationship Naomi and I have. I am female, bisexual, married. My gender is Butch Earth Mother.

    2) Since I operate a livejournal, which does not count hits, I am not personally the target of the vitriol. I just got splashed. Naomi took it a bit personally. (http://nbrooks.livejournal.com)

    3) At this point, the united front of Torquere seems to consist of, “If you’re unhappy, we’ll free you to go elsewhere. Good luck and good riddance.”

    4) We have decided to honor all outstanding contracts–except for a novel we sent prematurely–but not take more.

    Reply

  89. Posted by Nora Roberts on March 20, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Jeez, ANOTHER one?

    It felt to me as though Mychael was angry and defensive, and brought his personal sexuality into the mix when the discussion was about something else altogether.

    Anyway, that’s how it struck me when reading over 80 comments top to bottom.

    There is no logical place for a Y in my name. I am bereft.

    Reply

  90. When Teddypig first told me that Sean Michael wrote for TQ under more than one name, I was gobsmacked. But the proportion of Amazon sales attributed to him makes sense to me because, quite simply, I think he’s a gifted writer– in fact one of my favorites. If other authors wrote as beautifully as he does, and I’ll bet they would also find themselves part of TQ’s “inner circle”.

    So, bottom line is that all this TQ hoopla won’t effect my purchasing decisions. I will still buy Sean Michael’s books. I will still buy other TQ author’s books whether they are written by a male or female, gay, straight, bi, or all of the above (Julia Talbot happens to be another TQ fave of mine).

    Sorry, as much as it seems there are veiled calls for boycotts here, the fact is that, as a Reader, it’s not going to keep me from authors/books I love. In fact, I’d be heartbroken if TQ disappeared.

    Reply

  91. Nora :It felt to me as though Mychael was angry and defensive, and brought his personal sexuality into the mix when the discussion was about something else altogether.
    Yes, the something else which he conveniently didn’t want to discuss – namely threatening violence against anyone who dared criticise Torquere. All the whining and weeping and ‘your sooo meeen’ statements in the world doesn’t explain why he put those words down in his journal, in a public entry, and positively encouraged other people to jump on the bandwagon of threats and intimidation. No one’s said anything worse about Mychael Black than what Mychael Black said himself. All that’s happened is that it’s been exposed and boy, do those TQ people not like the spotlight when it’s less than flattering.

    Notice how much sympathy MB is getting for making a tit of himself. Not much sympathy for Angelia Sparrow for being cut loose after four years for asking the kinds of questions that need to be asked. That good old TQ solidarity goes bone deep, doesn’t it.

    Bev: If you think these people are gifted, that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. But the customers and authors have a right to know just how many pseudonyms are attached to a single person, and whether that person’s sales are being presented in a more glowing way and boosted by favourable marketing, just because they own the company. Personally, I question why any author in a single genre needs three separate pseudonyms to write exactly the same kind of material. Since new authors to TQ aren’t given this information, and there’s a very determined effort to keep it hidden, I want to know why they find it such a dirty little secret.

    TQ aren’t the only people practicing this kind of deception. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t asked to explain themselves, and to explain why they are crapping on mid-list/lower ranking authors just for asking questions.

    Reply

  92. Posted by Dorothy Mantooth on March 20, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Nora Robyrts.

    Reply

  93. The mutiple pseudonyms and the expressed contempt for other authors suggests such houses are primarily self- pubbing operations and the other authors are considered cloaks/useful idiots to disguise the fact.

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  94. Dorothy, you can do better than that!

    ‘Nyorya Ryobyrtys’, surely.

    Now I know why I’ve always been allergic to fantasy novels with all the ‘ll’s and ‘ssyses’.

    Reply

  95. Here is my take on it, late in the game. I was nervous but ultimately happy this whole thing came up. My first professional book was published with Torquere (2003 or 04, I think) and I have lurked at the fringes there ever since. I gradually fell out of communication with them because I felt such communication was not terribly welcome. Yes, I think there have been persistent and increasing problems with the culture and the editing and I have belately taken this opportunity to email them directly about both, in detail.

    I also floated the idea of not ganging up and attacking people as a first step to trying to turn this around. Am I niave in thinking it can be turned around? Perhaps. They were my first publisher and there is some kind of irrational attachment surrounding that first ‘acceptance’. I don’t think you could ever call me part of the ‘inner circle’ there though, not by a long stretch. I do think their accounting and payments have always been reliable and sales at TQ are tranding reliably upwards, what I have seen of how and why they accept manuscripts seems a little disorganised but basically sound (not that I have any direct knowledge of this but they do accept work from a lot of new authors and I do read TQ books and enjoy them, although I am not a fan of their website or online store).

    If the owners choose to get through the digressions and insults they could take this as a wake up call and bring in moderation of the lists and blogs, genuinely welcome communication for writers and bring in thorough and appropriate editing. They could emphasise transperancy so everyone knows how much material is written in house, as it happens I am okay with that.

    So despite some rallying cries to divide up into them and us, I am still part of Torquere as an author. I have previously (several times over the months) said I have stopped submitting to them, and that is still the case. But it doesn’t have to be a dichotomy. So far I am disgruntled but I still see a lot of value in Torquere as a publisher and I am still participating. I have had problems with Mychael’s conduct and of late have been expressing that, but I don’t have a problem with Mychael or any of his choices in self-presentation. I guess the only one who has to occupy his point of view is him, I don’t have much interest in that.

    I do have a feeling that if authors are genuinely getting ‘expelled’ for expressing their point of view that could change my feelings very quickly but I just am not privy to what is going on there (please feel free to let me know). All I know is that on the author list when I expressed the opinion there was some truth in the ‘bloggers’ opinions there was a bit of a deathly silence. If there are others currently still within the TQ stable but advocating for some changes in the culture and editing, I suggest that you speak your mind publically with full freedom if you wish to, but perhaps also post that material in the author list and/or and an email to Lorna.

    Even if you just see this as giving them enough rope to hang themselves with, I think it is worth doing.

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  96. BevQB,

    I was simply asked on my blog why I did not recommend Torquere Press on my list of Epublishers.

    This was the most simple answer to give and one I myself had noticed a while ago and I even find it funny that others have not figured it out.

    I mean how much inner circle “don’t ask any questions” shenanigans have to go on to keep it all a big secret from so many writers that work for them?

    There are other very very good reasons but the authors that told me about those situations did so privately so I respect that.

    The fact is they obviously penalize authors that do ask questions just ask Angelia Sparrow.

    Reply

  97. The lovely Karen wrote, “But Lleo, this is the kind of liberal BS that riles me no end. Narrow gender categories? What? We have to be politically correct about gender categories now? So expecting people to be either male or female (herms don’t count) makes us intolerant?”

    Call me intolerant. narrow-minded, and politically incorrect but a man doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk, and that means treating the women in his life with respect. After seeing the posts about Naomi and Angelia, I regret saying anything MB might have used to up the drama.

    Reply

  98. Emily, TQ are taking new authors – but from what I’ve seen, they are not taking them when they are actually ready for publication, and they are not developing their skills. In fact, from what I’ve observed personally, the process of being accepted for publication seems to stifle stillborn the author’s desire to improve because they are encouraged to believe they’ve already made it. This is not actually the case, too often. Too many authors are being published who are just not very good, or mature in their craft, which offers a poor deal for readers and does the author no service.

    You ask for direct proof of authors being expelled for expressing their views, then please read Angelia Sparrow’s account of her treatment here:
    http://valarltd.livejournal.com

    She’s no newcomer and has been a loyal TQ author for four years. Not that it counts for much, apparently.

    MB’s behaviour, every time I’ve had anything to do with him or ‘Kay’ has been aggressive and emotional, and when challenged, he retreats into accusations of people picking on him and suffering the effect of drugs. Someone whispering into his shell-like ear that maybe he shouldn’t post while under the influence might be better than trying to delete the evidence of his aggression. He’s not doing himself or TQ any favours and for my part, is a huge reason why I consider TQ to be a very poor option for readers and authors alike. Bullying behaviour as a corporate image isn’t a selling point, is it?

    And while he’s raging around, and other major TQ authors for the press are rallying to his cause and posting statements of support for what amounts to nothing more than thuggery, then I think you won’t find many of those same people are interested in challenging the culture there at all. Even if they did, they’re going to be too scared to. Do they want to get an email being invited to bugger off, like Angelia Sparrow did? Most likely not.

    Reply

  99. Thanks for the link Anne, I may be dimn but I don’t see ‘being expelled’ but I may have missed that bit somehow. I agree the general social environment has been hostile and a good enough to get out of Dodge in and of itself. But I was looking for official shunning by staff rather than the author-to-author stuff.

    ” I think you won’t find many of those same people are interested in challenging the culture there at all. Even if they did, they’re going to be too scared to.”

    I think this is absolutely the key point. If there really are only the satisfied and the uncounted intimidated types can anything happen? I doubt it. The vocal satisfied group will support a status quo that is okay with them why would the publisher feel the need to change?–that group alone would probably be large enough to supply them with manuscripts. There is nothing that will show a reason to change– that this is in fact *not* a good look for the press if they want to keep growing their readership and author stable. But I hope some writers fall into groups other than the defenders of the faith and the oppressed or defecting.

    Each author decides how long to hang in there with conditions they aren’t satisfied with and when it goes too far for them to hang around. I am still hanging in.

    Reply

  100. Ann, given that Mychael has a history of such behavior way back when he’s writing under a female pseudonym for Chippewa, or so some of the earlier comments said, perhaps she shouldn’t be seen as a representative of TQ behavior? I have seen some shows of unity among other TQ authors there, but they are no better or worse than the ones I have seen among some of the more cult-like epublishers out there, like the one that I would call The Publisher Who Shall Not Be Named (they know who they are).

    In my opinion, cult-like cliques are dangerous because it can affect the morale of the authors. Plus, any epublisher who runs business the same way one is organizing a prom and determining who will be crowned the Prom King and Queen is most likely not going to be professional in many other areas, especially when the cult-like “in” crowd will blindly support any decision, good or bad, that the epublisher implements.

    But unlike matters like non-payment of royalty and deliberate breach of contract, preferential treatment by the epublisher and the cult-like environment have some easy fixes – the authors not happy can just leave. It is not a crime for an epublisher to run itself unprofessionally since no crime has been committed and no breach of contract has been made. Some, like Emily, want to stay to try to turn things around and I respect that. But I also feel that sometimes it is best for unhappy authors to just walk away from such houses and let those role-playing owners and authors of the “in crowd” feed on each other’s ego until everything goes under from the combined weight of all that egos.

    Reply

  101. Posted by D on March 20, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Not sure it matters all that much & I could be wrong, but I thought Kay was supposed to be a male pen name, as well. Welsh or something… I don’t think anyone got it.

    Reply

  102. UGH! I probably should wait and post when I’m more awake next time because I just re-read what I wrote earlier and it sounds so dismissive. I was trying to express my opinion of the issues from a reader-only POV, and I think I did, but the fact is that I DO think dialogues like those happening here and in other posts throughout Karen’s site are invaluable to authors.

    It seems that the houses are often quick to point out to authors that “no one likes a troublemaker”, but that goes for the houses too. Piss off enough authors and word WILL get out. And, in light of recent epub history, it seems that the first step towards an epub closing up shop IS their callous attitude towards their authors and not honoring their contracts with the authors.

    So, yeah, from that standpoint, the houses need to realize that they don’t want the public perception of them to be one of instability.

    Again, strictly from a Reader’s POV (aka the view directly effecting their bottom line), if I get the impression that a house is unstable, I will probably never bother to try them. Why give my loyalty to something that may disappear tomorrow? And, no, that doesn’t contradict what I said about TQ earlier– I’ve been a regular customer of TQ’s for quite awhile. And as I said, I adore Sean MIchael’s work and several of their other authors, too. If anything, buzz about instability with them would probably send me into a buying frenzy so I don’t miss out on any books I haven’t purchased yet.

    Reply

  103. Posted by Dorothy Mantooth on March 20, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Sorry Ann. Y’re ryght; I cyld hyve done mych byttyr.

    (Am I the only one who wonder why it’s considered “progressive” to spell the way people did before the Black Plague?)

    Reply

  104. Posted by MB on March 20, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Coming out of lurkdom just for this… No, Dorothy, I’m kinda wondering that myself.

    ~MB

    Reply

  105. I think it is just part of branding to use an alt spelling, so when someone googles you aren’t competing with a word full of common mens’ names?

    Reply

  106. Posted by Shayne on March 20, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Or one might actually have a y in their real name.

    Reply

  107. Posted by Nora Roberts on March 20, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    So YOU say, Shayne–if that IS your reyl name.

    Now considering a change to Nora Robyrts, because it looks kinda cool.

    Thanks, Dorothy.

    Reply

  108. (Am I the only one who wonder why it’s considered “progressive” to spell the way people did before the Black Plague?)

    They brought back bell bottoms and corduroy. It was only a matter of time.

    Reply

  109. Email: I don’t see ‘being expelled’

    After Angelia made some comments in response to Teddy about her concerns over how TQ treated authors outside the inner sanctum – concerns which are entirely justified as you surely know perfectly well – she got an email from the owners offering to severe her contracts pretty much immediately, despite having future commitments. That’s not exactly a healthy response to criticism, nor is it an indication of continued support. As Angelia said in her LJ, publishers don’t let go of assets, so she and her co author clearly aren’t seen as assets.

    But if she’s been working for them for four years, and yet is so disposable, what does that tell you about TQ’s choice of material/authors, their attitude to dissent, and their interest in nurturing and supporting their people? What it tells me is that unless you’re an owner, or an owner’s pet, then you can go screw yourself if you have a problem or concern.

    TQ might not be in business difficulties – I’ve not read anyone suggesting they are – but they are not an outfit to do business with. MB’s post and behaviour is part ad parcel with this ‘fuck you’ mentality.

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  110. Posted by Shayne on March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Valid point, Madame Roberts, if you really are Nora Roberts. This is the internet, and everybody can say whatever the hell they want and it gets taken as truth. Sort of like this thread. *snickers*

    I would send my birth certificate if I could be bothered, but it’s too much trouble. Guess my word will have to do.

    Reply

  111. Posted by Dorothy Mantooth on March 20, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    *blush* Thanks, Ms. Robyrts.

    Methinks thy bookes wille felle very fyne wyth fych a lovyly name on themme. A fyne gyfte for the Black Prince, mayhap?

    Reply

  112. Posted by Nora Roberts on March 20, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    ~Guess my word will have to do.~

    I think that should be wyrd.

    But of course it does, very well. I was just messing with you.

    Reply

  113. J.D. Rybb is that you?

    Reply

  114. Posted by Shayne on March 21, 2008 at 12:03 am

    I figured you were, Ms. Roberts, but you also made a very valid point. And on the net either you take someone’s wyrd or you don’t.

    Reply

  115. Hey, leave my wyrd alone. I NEED that.

    Matters are settled with us and the editors.
    And you can always find Brooks and Sparrow at the website.

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  116. Posted by Melynda on March 21, 2008 at 2:41 am

    I’ll totally cop to it. I was born a Melinda. Changed my name to “Melynda” in the 7th grade during a “dare to be different OMG this is soooooo kewl” phase. Much protesting and snorting ensued from my mother, who eventually got over it. I just got a birthday card from my grandmother, on which she spelled my name with the “y” for the first time.

    It’s just stuck.

    Ironically, I write under a pseudonym that is normal. It does contain a “y,” but in a traditional place.

    I do like Nora Robyrts, though. I’d say go for broke and try “Nyra” too. Who cares if it changes the pronunciation? It’s for the art. The ART.

    Reply

  117. […] (E-publishers, Ellora’s Cave, Small Publishers) With the dust-ups over New Concepts Publishing and Torquere Press going on at Karen Scott’s blog and Dear Author, Emily Veinglory put out a call for Positive […]

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  118. Posted by Emmy on March 24, 2008 at 8:02 am

    Does it matter what people use as a pseud? Nora Roberts is a pseud for Eleanor Wilder. Who cares?? Robyrts is cool too, lolz.

    Reply

  119. Posted by logophilos on March 24, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Emmy, most writers use pseudonyms (and by the way, it’s considered pretty uncouth to drop the ‘real’ name into a discussion for no damn reason at all, lolz or no bloody lolz.)

    The issue about the post in question is nothing to do with that. The only problem people have with Torquere Press and its owners is the proliferation of pen names to apparently mask the favoritism shown to the owners and their intimates in matters such as sending books to print. I say ‘apparently’ because no one at TQ can be bothered to tell us why S A Clements needs four separate writing identities in the same genre and at her own publishing company.

    MB’s problems are less about his pen name/gender identity and more about the fact he and his cronies act like thugs to anyone who criticises them. And then whine about the fact we’re all sooo meeeen for quoting their own words back at them in evidence of this fact.

    Reply

  120. er, that last comment was by me. I don’t know why I had a mysterious WordPress login that wasn’t.

    “The only problem people have with Torquere Press and its owners…” should have read “The only problem people have with Torquere Press and its owners and the use of pen names…”

    Reply

  121. […] Not only did this person’s illogical stance confuse the hell out of me in itself, I was also puzzled because I was sure he himself had talked about how he didn’t like people making that kind of pretence himself. I thought maybe my age was catching up with me, but lo, so it was: […]

    Reply

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